Newcastle released their latest rendition of ‘Toon in training’ last night. After missing the Man City defeat through the concussion protocol, Fabian Schar has returned to training and is expected to be in contention for Sunday’s bout against Wolves.
The Swiss international has been ever-present in Eddie Howe’s backline since his arrival almost 18 months ago. The subsequent signings of Dan Burn and Sven Botman has seen captain Jamaal Lascelles take a backseat for much of Howe’s tenure.
Lascelles returned to the starting lineup in the place of Schar last weekend. The long-standing skipper reminded many of his qualities as he put in a solid display alongside Botman at the Etihad.
The Chronicle has interviewed Jamaal this week with his limited playing time a topic of conversation. This is what Lascelles said about not getting into the team over the past year:
“No footballer wants to sit on the bench. But at the same time, I accept when a team is playing well and has got a brilliant defensive record that is how football works.
“It will never change my mood or my professionalism. It will just make me work harder and I will always support the team.
“Fabby had a little knock and didn’t play, I thought there were positives to take for me as an individual and us a team and a squad.”
Howe may have a selection decision for Sunday. Lascelles’s performance could warrant a second start. His dominance in the air was a noticeable addition against the formidable Citizens. He helped keep the prolific Erling Halaand quiet all afternoon.
If Howe does go with the captain once again, it will be earned through his performance on Sunday and in training. Lascelles added the following about whether he thinks his performance was enough to earn another chance:
“Yeah. But I have always been a player that has never wanted to use my captaincy or my voice to force my way into the team.
“I want to earn it. I want to be the best in training and be amazing when I play, and I want the manager to be able to say: ‘He has to start.’
“I’m not the type to go round knocking on doors and stuff. “The manager is a smart manager, and whatever team he picks we know it is a squad game.We all fully back it. It is a collective thing.
“I don’t think about myself. I have been so many years, and of course, I want to play every single game. But we are a squad. That has been the biggest driving force for our success.”